October 27, 2020


This will be one of my most personal blogs to date, and that is saying A LOT.

2020 eh?  Holy cow.  This is the year that has tested our resilience as human beings more than ever.  But Michiganders, by nature, are resilient.  We deal with weather patterns that defy logic, we embrace half of the year under a thick layer of snow, knowing that the one month of summer will make it all worth it!  We are the pioneers who created cars, baby food, cereal, and Vernors, all to just help make life easier.  By design, just being a Michigander means you are prepared for the worst, right?

On Thursday, October 22nd, 2020, Northern Michigan got hit with a storm that felt like it would never end.  Inches of rain, blowing winds, thunder, the whole shebang.  It was insane, but the morning after was one I will never forget. 

For years, my wife and I have been working hard and saving to build our dream house.  Our basement was designed to entertain; bar, theater, urinal(I know...its silly), pool table, you name it, the basement had it.  On Friday, October 23rd, our basement got something I was not mentally prepared for...a swimming pool.  Literally inches of muddy water resided over every inch of our basement, but the theater, being a drop down space, was submerged.  It was a nightmare, and it got worse.  Because of a loophole in our insurance, none of it was covered.  The water came in through a window well, and that apparently is our fault, I guess.  So the cleanup has begun, slowly but expensively.

But it still gets worse.  That same night, our daughter Brooke, who as many of you may know, had an unusually high night with her Type 1 Diabetes, and got sick in the morning.  So for those of you counting, we have a morning where not only are we dealing with that fact that our basement has toads hopping around in it, but our daughter may be dying. 

In situations like this, you are faced with two choices; accept the horrors you are dealing with and give up, curl up into a ball, ugly cry, and start drinking....or you can smile, realize that your daughter will be ok, your house is just an asset, and not a living thing, and be thankful that everyone is safe. 

So out of all that is/was/will be 2020, this design was born.  We have all had a really crappy year, one way or another, and while I could just put a shirt out that says "this sucks," I wanted to go in a totally different direction and say "you know what, this sucks, but there are still things to be thankful for."  I felt Michiganders needed this shirt and hoodie more than ever, right now.

And like so many of the designs we brought out this year, the proceeds raised from sales of this shirt will be used to help.  But this time, they will be used to help someday, years from now, we can have all of you down in our DRY basement for a drink, a game of pool, and maybe an Avengers/Harry Potter/Star Wars marathon.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all of the continued support you have given us this year.  When I tally up all of the things that bring a smile to my face despite what 2020 has planned for me, your support of our little t-shirt company is definitely high on the list!



*To purchase a Smile t-shirt, hoodie, hat, beanie, or decal, please click here.

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